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   Richard Brunstrom, the Chief Constable of North Wales, is a prominent police advocate in the use of speed cameras to control speeding drivers.

   Brunstrom's laudable campaign to make our streets and highways safer and better for everyone has provoked a vicious campaign against him by the motoring lobby, which lamentably is gathering momentum in both the local and national press.

Local ctc member by open window of a police Arrive Alive van

Glan Conwy's Cliff Jones (CTC Cymru), takes a few minutes out of a 40 mile bike ride to see what PC Peter Ashcroft's doing to make the roads safer for us all.

    There are absurd allegations that Brunstrom is milking the motorist with fines simply to raise revenue and that he neglects to fight more important crimes such as burglary.

   Excessive speed is an important factor contributing to over a 1000 deaths a year on our roads and a huge number of serious injuries. Ever since speed limits were first introduced it has been demonstrated that curbing excessive speeds saves lives.

   The British media whips up the public into a frenzy of grief for certain murdered children (eg. the Soham girls) but then fiercely campaigns against traffic measures designed to save many more lives including those of children.

   CTC has joined with 27 other organisations in expressing support for Brunstom's efforts to promote road safety. (See www.transport2000.org.uk)

    Roy Spilsbury, Hon. Secretary CTC Cymru, comments:

    "The Chief Constable of North Wales Richard Brunstrom has again come under fire as a consequence of his campaign to prosecute speeding motorists caught on camera.

    "A 71 year old retired Bank Manager pleaded guilty to exceeding a 30mph limit by 9 mph, but afterwards went to the media to complain that as he had a clean record he should have been offered a caution without needing to appear in court to receive a penalty. He claimed he was overtaking a tractor at the time but camera evidence disproved this.

    "Perhaps not surprisingly, given the sections of the public that see all attempts to achieve responsibility and accountability on our roads as a violation of basic human rights, the media has been having a field day placing Mr. Brunstrom well and truly on the rack.

    "Mr Brunstrom's own comment on this case is very apt: 'Mr Shaw was driving above the speed limit, on a rainy day, in a built-up area with a history of accidents, including one where a pedestrian was knocked down and killed......Speeding is a form of anti-social behaviour. Some people believe that term applies only to 17-year-old yobs who get drunk and cause a nuisance but it also applies to people like Mr Shaw, who see themselves as law-abiding citizens but then choose to break the law by speeding and risking the lives of other people.' 

    "CTC totally agrees with Mr Brunstrom and argues that the law should be applied without fear or favour. Often the driver knows little or nothing of the local conditions where residents become fearful for their lives because of speeding motorists.

    "At least one other recent case provides evidence that local courts don't always attach as much seriousness to vehicle speeds as Mr. Brunstrom. A Henllan driver was clocked doing something like 120mph on the A525 dual carriageway towards Rhuddlan at about 8.30am on his way to work as a factory manager. He received a modest fine and was disqualified for a couple of months.

    "One can only speculate on the standard of this man's driving from his home along the narrow twisting lane leading to the main road at St Asaph. But it takes little to imagine the horrific consequences if he had clipped another car on his journey, or collided with a cyclist, pedestrian, or horse rider, not to mention someone taking a breath of fresh air in a wheel chair. But of course there aren't so many of them about because people are too afraid of coming across someone like him - driving like a madman."

See also our page: Speed Cameras: Research survey demolishes the myths (here)